Not adding up

The Lester Vaughn School is seeking to correct a major Maths and English problem at the St Thomas learning institution.

Students seemingly have had difficulty grasping both subjects, with the entire first year failing Maths last year.

Therefore, Acting Principal Tanya Harding said the school would employ a creative method to help reverse the problem.

“We recognized that was a problem and we put  . . . two teachers in a classroom to teach the children for all the first forms. So, this year each first form class has two Maths teachers and two English teachers. While one does teaching the other is making sure they understand and so on,” Harding said.

From left: Acting Principal of Lester Vaughn School Tanya Harding, Industrial Arts and Visual Arts teacher Rommel Martindale, Marketing Executive at Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited, Sharleen Browne and Graphic Artiste Executive at Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited Tyson Thompson presenting a portion of the sponsored items to the school.

The school has also partnered with Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited to construct a remedial learning centre where students will receive specialized teaching, focusing on their weak areas.

“We decided that we would have a specialist room. We would have activities, train the teachers to work with students who are having problems, as well as other students because all of our students can use room for improvement in their English. Obviously with just two rooms, the rooms would have to be booked via the English and Maths teachers. But we are hoping that all the students, all the Maths students and all the English students, will be able to take turns to be in the room,” she said.

“It will be equipped . . . [for] special activities because [while] in most of the classrooms there are just tables and chairs, in this classroom, there will be some flexibility. If teachers wanted [the students] to work in groups, they can have a group formation in the classroom. If they wanted to put the chairs, the desk in a circle then they can do that as well. There will be a lot of posters permanently placed there as well as a board where the teacher could change the posters according to what they are teaching,” the acting principal added.

Harding suggested that the pupils were performing below the required standard because they did little to no reading.

However, she said, the school also planned to tackle this challenge head on, beginning with special sessions for teachers.

“ Our next session with the first form teachers will be about study sessions, so we really are trying to get children with specific problems to improve [but] we want the entire school reading more,” Harding said. 

5 Responses to Not adding up

  1. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan September 27, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    Ms Harding this indeed is a worthwhile project, but it would also help if you could demand a greater use of the English Language from your students, on and off the compound. They have the potential to remember every song, and every cuss word so I know that they can learn if they put the effort in

  2. Cuales Nelz
    Cuales Nelz September 27, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Good initiative.

    Here are a couple more suggestions:

    The school should look to invest in mymaths which is an online resource that teaches Maths Concepts from Primary to Tertiary level. Most schools in the UK use it and it has been shown to improve students’ learning.

    A book building/ library drive should be undertaken to ensure each child does regular reading. There should be set times for silent reading on a daily basis.

    Get parents involved in helping and encouraging children to become more active in learning Maths and English.

    Good luck 🙂

  3. Idalet Jones
    Idalet Jones September 28, 2017 at 1:08 am

    I’m so in for this think other schools should take heed and jump on the band wagon. Cause the children do complain that they are not being taught properly

  4. Epaphras D. Williams
    Epaphras D. Williams September 28, 2017 at 5:31 am

    Neither our teachers or children know themselves and that transcends primary, secondary and tertiary education and experience. We need a revelation.

  5. harry turnover September 28, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Some of the methods that are used to solved problems are much harder than the methods used in the sixties and seventies….all under the guise of something called new maths.
    Sometime ago I showed my daughter the method I used back then to solve simultaneous equations and when she showed the teacher she seem puzzled but in the end said ” oh,you can do it that way too “


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